House of Commons Hansard #195 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of justice has just shown us his true colours.

He and his cabinet colleagues are trying to intervene. They do so via their staff, via third parties, and are unhappy about it because they do not always win out. When they do get their way, however, their little friends stand to benefit.

I would ask this of the minister of justice: Does his point of view not lead directly to a system of patronage, but an open one, as opposed to the existing one, which is rather secret, as long as the opposition does not speak up?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my words have been seriously misrepresented. What I said is absolutely clear and explicit.

What I am saying is that politicians are elected every four or five years. We have certain powers. What I am saying is that, even when we do not have those powers, we are criticized.

If we are going to be criticized, let us ensure that the various ministerial powers can be rethought, political power restored, perhaps even redefined, and that, in this context, we can make sure we get the best quality at the best price, and the best service, and that all of this can be accomplished in harmony.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is preoccupied with Liberal double crossing, but could he turn his attention for a moment to a broader concern; the severe crisis in Africa.

Ten million people in southern Africa alone face starvation. The Prime Minister promised lasting solutions from the G-8, but his officials are now running around dampening expectation.

Canada's foreign aid is below .3% of GDP, far below the .7% UN target. Why does the Prime Minister not keep his promise and increase Canada's foreign aid immediately to the .7%? That would be integrity.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for two years we have increased our program by 8% a year and it is going up every year. On top of that increase, we have allocated $500 million for the next three years to be applied specifically, above the previous programs, to new programs for the people of Africa.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister fancies himself as the champion of African development, as the champion of democratic rights and freedoms. Yet as of May 25 the International Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Development is operating without a president at a time when its work on African development on human rights and democracy in the context of terrorism is desperately important.

Why has the Prime Minister allowed the appointment of one of his most loyal, competent and respected former colleagues, Warren Allmand, to expire with no replacement?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I hope there will be a replacement named within a week or two.

While I am on my feet, I just want to make a correction. Listening to the opposition members, I tend to take the habit from them to exaggerate a bit. I was speaking about $50,000 but unfortunately I said $50 million. It is the atmosphere of exaggeration that exists on the other side that seems to have come over to our side at this moment.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is always somebody else's fault.

I have a question for the Prime Minister, which I am sure he has looked into. Did the then minister of state for amateur sport recommend to the Minister of Canadian Heritage in any form that the $500,000 contract for organizing cross country consultations on amateur sport be awarded to Groupe Everest?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have no information before me to that effect.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Prime Minister. When accused of improper behaviour, the solicitor general was allowed to speak for himself, so was the former Minister of Public Works and Government Services, so was the former Minister of National Defence, so was the Minister of Justice and so was the Minister of Finance.

On a matter relating to public policy and while he was a minister of the crown, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration gave two absolutely contradictory stories. The House needs to know which is true.

Why does the Prime Minister not allow the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration the same right as other accused ministers have to stand in the House and speak for himself?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, who is a long time member of this House, should know the rules. The rule is that a minister should answer in the House of Commons about his responsibility for the ministry he has at that moment. If it is a question related to his previous ministry, the question should be asked of the new minister. That has been the rule unless the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or an acting minister are replying in place of the minister of immigration.

These are the rules and we are obliged to abide by the rules, as the Speaker asks us to do.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

May 30th, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, once long ago the Prime Minister and his cronies were offended by patronage. In fact 10 years ago, when in opposition, this is what they said about getting jobs and contracts for friends, and I quote:

--we've seen two different incidents within the last 10 days of this Family Compact type of affair, I think the people of Canada have a right to know what's going on...

I agree. Do the people of Canada not still have a right to know what is going on with this kind of sleaze and patronage?

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all the facts are known. There is a long time president of a university in P.E.I., an extremely well respected citizen of P.E.I., who is running a public institution. He has requested money, like any other president of a similar institution, from existing federal programs. That is known. He has the right to do it and has done it.

If he is no good at his job, it is up to the provincial government to replace him. However I am told that he has been doing a good job for many years in having one of the best--

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Macleod.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the problem is he is a brother and it involves the appearance of a conflict of interest. Listen to what they say about patronage today. I am quoting the justice minister, who said:

--it is time to end the hypocrisy and let ministers...have more of a say in which communications agencies are chosen to do [their] work.

More of a say? I say that the Canadian public does not want the minister to have any say in communications agencies, none.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the day will come when opposition members will have to make up their minds. They keep asking questions and demanding that the minister be responsible for what is going on in his department. Right after that they say that the minister should not be responsible. They should make up their minds. Are they for responsible ministers or no ministers at all?